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Deployment and Psychological Correlates of Suicide-Related Ideation and Behaviors for a sample of U.S. Airmen and Marines

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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OBJECTIVE The three primary objectives of this dissertation study were as follows 1 To examine the relationship among deployment, psychological related factors, and self-reported suicide ideation following military deployment 2 To better understand the role of mediators in the relationship between suicide ideation and suicide death and 3 To determine whether relationship between deployment history and suicide exists. METHOD A total of 581,996 Post Deployment Health Assessment PDHA and Post Deployment Health Reassessment PDHRArecords of United States Air Force and Marine Corps personnel, maintained by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center AFHSC, were obtained. Logistic regression models were used to determine deployment and psychological correlates of suicide ideation. Hopelessness, alcohol misuse, interpersonal conflict, and impulsivity were examined as possible mediators in the relationship between suicide ideation and suicide. Finally, a sample of 221 service members known to have died by suicide was compared to a cohort of 884 service members known to be living at the time of each suicide death using a conditional logistic regression model to better understand the relationship between deployment and suicide. RESULTS The sample for the analyses pertaining to suicide ideation N 108,412 of matched PDHAsPDHRAs consisted of77.6 Airmen and 22.4 Marines primarily male 87.5, less than 35 years of age 76.6,Caucasian 71, Active Duty 87, and with ranks of E1-E6 75.6. After adjusting for sex,age, and branch of service, deployment locations to Afghanistan and Iraq, exposure to wounded, killed, or dead as well as being physically injured while on deployment were found to be significantly associated with reported suicide ideation. However, number of deployments was not associated with reported suicide ideation.

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